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Only Joe King

A light-hearted look at life in Andalucía and Spain in general. Its good points and its bad. This blog doesn't pull any punches.

Serendipity V – Molletes antequeranos, Karst rocks and buñuelos
Friday, February 4, 2022 @ 8:52 AM

It’s happened again – Joe King and his wife have experienced Serendipity.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, Serendipity is the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary goes for the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.



I had accumulated more than enough amigos points to get a night ‘s accommodation in a parador for free. “Let’s do it,” we said, “We need a break.”

The nice lady on the telephone at Paradores offered us several for just 200 points. We went for Antequera, because although we’d both been to this Roman town north of Málaga city in the past with different spouses, we didn’t really know the place at all. And at just 90 minutes from Ronda, it would be an easy drive.

“How much would a second night cost?”

“We have a special offer for the over 55s – días dorados.”

The price was good so we booked the two nights – two for the price of one, in effect.

The parador at Antequera is modern – not like the palaces and monasteries we stayed in in Extremadura last year. But it was comfortable and clean.



We opted not to take breakfast in the parador – at 18€ per head it’s not good value for money. As I commented in German to my wife, a German, that the breakfast coffee was normally Scheisse, the receptionist agreed ….. in perfect German! Although Spanish, Encarni had been born near Heidelberg!

Instead we jumped in the car and headed out of town. We were soon in the pampa and couldn’t find anywhere, so we headed back to Antequera and chanced on a roadside hotel with a car park full of ….. cars.

We had a decent breakfast of manchego cheese and jamón serrano on molletes, which of course originate from Antequera, zumo de naranja natural, a couple of coffees and we were good to go.

A serendipitous breakfast! It cost 14€ all in. Compare that to 36€ at the parador!

We then changed our original plan for the day and headed off to El Torcal natural park.


El Torcal

The rock formations here have to be seen to be believed. Stunning. Formed 20 million years ago, as the sea receded, from the shells of dead molluscs and other marine debris, the resulting stone has been carved by millions of years of wind, rain, cold and heat into shapes no sculptor would ever come up with.

We chose the shorter of two waymarked walking routes through this unique landscape of karst rocks, before heading down into the valley to the little town of Villualenga del Rosario in search of a late lunch.

We chanced upon Bar Oasis. Not pretty, as the name implied, but what a find?

We got a mixed salad and a basket of crusty fresh country bread on the house. The Hausfrau chose chipirrones a la plancha (grilled baby squids) and I went for potaje de garbanzos (chick-pea stew). 4 beers, 2 coffees and the whole lot came to 23€!

Serendipity pure!


Recuerdos Tapas Bodega

As is our tendency when we are somewhere new, we check out Trip Advisor for recommendations for  restaurants. Number one on their list was Recuerdos Tapas Bodega.

Wholly justified in my opinion. The choice of tapas, medias raciones and raciones was amazing. All with a modern slant.

We shared a media ración de buñuelos de gambón (king prawn fritters) y alioli de aguacate and then I had three tapas: patatas estilo bravas, pavías de merluza (lightly battered cod pieces) and queso rebozado con culís de frambuesa y mango de la Axarquía (cheese filled with raspberry coulis and topped with a mango coulis).

As I wrote on TA afterwards: “great menu, tasty tapas, friendly staff and warm atmosphere”.

The bill was a surprisingly low 33.50€!

Thursday 3 February 2022 - a great day, full of serendipity!



For more information about El Torcal click

For more information about  Recuerdos Tapas Bodega look them up on Facebook.


Further reading:

To read about our parador trip to Extremadura last year, click

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